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For around a century Bennetts
has been the bridge connecting
the world’s best coffee with
Bennetts > About Us > Heritage
Founded in 1918, Bennetts is a private Australian company and the leading importer of quality coffees and teas from across the world.
Over time, we have built our success on our unmatched knowledge of the coffee and tea business and our commitment to building real partnerships with our clients.
Over the last century, our industry has been in a constant state of change. There has been an endless variety of new beans, shifts in drinking habits and new technologies bringing new possibilities to business.
Like all other coffee businesses, we understand that to succeed, we must embrace the future, but there are many things about Bennetts that will never change. Integrity, our unmatched knowledge of coffee and our commitment to help our partners prosper remains at the heart of everything we do.
Horace Albert Bennett founded a firm to import tea, coffee and cocoa, following in the footsteps of his father who had been working in the industry since 1881.
Horace’s one-man company survived many early challenges, quickly making its name as a reliable supplier and business partner.
By the outbreak of World War 2, H.A. Bennett was a major player in the Australian tea business sourcing most of its product from growers in the Dutch East Indies.
With the coming of the war, much of Australia’s supply was cut off and rationing was introduced, lasting into the 1950s.
The government turned to Horace Bennett, appointing him Tea and Coffee Controller from 1942 to 1955. His job was to ensure Australians could continue to enjoy their favourite cuppa despite the problems of supply, and the thousands of American servicemen stationed in Australia could be supplied with coffee.
Both of Horace’s sons worked in the tea and coffee business but it was the youngest boy, Bill Bennett, who took over the family venture.
Bill returned from a stint as a buyer in Ceylon just as tea control ended. He teamed up with his brother Peter, who had worked for the Tea Control Board, to relaunch HA Bennett and Sons in 1955.
In the 1960s, Bill realised Australia’s love of coffee, fanned by American films and the London Café Latte craze, was becoming permanent. The company began to expand and deepen its ties with producers in Latin America and Asia.
In 1981, Bill’s son Scott started work in the business, but being of an adventurous mind, he set off to travel to the wilds of Papua New Guinea. There he worked in the new nation’s rapidly growing plantation industry as a coffee trader and agent.
Returning to Melbourne in 1988, Scott rose steadily through the business until he was named Managing Director in 1995.
In 2013, we decided to update our name to ‘Bennetts’ but this was more than just a cosmetic change. We’ve put a lot of work into revamping our online home so that our clients can access everything they need to know about the world of coffee anytime they choose.